Class: Amyrlin Seats

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This is a transcript of Isarma Sedai's class on Amyrlin Seats, which took place between November, 2010 and October, 2011.

Please be advised that this transcript might include spoilers up until Book 12: The Gathering Storm.


Hi everybody ! This is the first class I will teach, so please be indulgent ;)

In the Gathering Storm, we have seen Egwene becoming more and more Amyrlin, and trying to avoid the mistakes made by previous Amyrlin Seats like Shein Chunla for instance. But, who exactly was Shein Chunla ? What did she do wrong ? Who was Gerra Kishar and why was she successful ? In this class, we will learn about these famous past Amyrlin Seats :D

Brief Lesson Plan: - What does the Amyrlin Seat - How and when was this position created - Amyrlin Seats from the Breaking to the Trolloc Wars (Elisane / Rashima / Tetsuan) - Amyrlin Seats from the Trolloc Wars to Arthur Hawkwing (Anghara / Bonwhin / Deane) - Strong Amyrlin Seats in the New Era (Edarna / Gerra / Myriam / Sereille) - Weak Amyrlin Seats in the New Era (Serenia / Shein / Cemaile) - Recent Amyrlin Seats (Tamra / Sierin / Marith / Siuan) - Elaida and Egwene

You're welcome to join at any point. I will wait a few days before starting with the first lesson. When you sign in, please tell me which books you have read (including New Spring and the Big White Book)

Lesson 1 - Who is the Amyrlin Seat

Big White Book said:

The Amyrlin Seat rules over the Hall from a chair of the same name and is elected for life by the Hall of the Tower. She is the supreme head of the Tower, and is a member of all ajahs, denoted by all seven colors upon her stole, regardlesss of the Ajah she was raised from. At the same time, she is considered to be of no Ajah, favoring none above another. Considered equal, if not slighly superior, to any king or queen, theoretically at least she has absolute power over all the Aes Sedai. In actuality, according to sources close to the Tower, the Amyrlin must usually engage in fairly sophisticated political give and take with the Hall to keep her reign strong.

Her full title is "the Watcher of the Seals, the Flame of Tar Valon, the Amyrlin Seat", usually shortened to Amyrlin. Aes Sedai formally refer to her as "Mother" and she to them as "Daughter".

When she is being elected by the Hall, if some of the Sitters choose not to stand for her, she will have to wash their feet and beg them to allow her to serve.

How and when was this position created

During the Age of Legends, the male and female Aes Sedai were ruled by the "First Among Servants", who sat on the High Seat, in the Hall of the Servants located in the capital city of Paaran Disen. Little else is known, except that Lews Therin Telamon, when he was First Among Servants, wore the ring of the Tamyrlin and summoned the Nine Rods of Dominion.

In 47AB (After the Breaking, i.e. after the death of all male Aes Sedai), the Aes Sedai decided to build a new city as center of their power. The construction of the city of Tar Valon and the White Tower did not begin until 98AB. Records from that year indicate that the ruler of the Aes Sedai was known as the Amyrlin Seat, though this title has probably been in use for several years then.


  • According to you, what do the Amyrlin's three titles refer to ? "the Watcher of the Seals, the Flame of Tar Valon, the Amyrlin Seat"
  • Imagine a description of the chair known as the Amyrlin seat. Drawings are welcome but not mandatory ;)

Please use the spoiler code to hide your answers to the first question !

You all did really well :clap

My own thoughts on those questions ;)

The Watcher of the Seals

Big White Book said:

In the chaos (=during the Breaking), the surviving Aes Sedai scattered the seven cuendillar seals that held the Bore, lest one of the maddened Aes Sedai, or even one of the Shadowsworn, find them unprotected. Only a few souls knew where they were secreted. Later, during the Trolloc Wars, those who held this knowledge were lost, and with them the location of the seals.

See also The Great Hunt, ch. 5 (sorry for not quoting it, I only have a French edition of this book :$ )

You all were right with that part: from this title, we learn that the Amyrlin was in charge of keeping those seals, or rather keeping the knowledge of where the seals were hidden.

The Flame of Tar Valon

Big White Book said:


A stylized white flame; a white teardrop, point up; the White Flame; the Flame of Tar Valon.

This white flame is actually the lower part of the old Aes Sedai symbol (the Yin Yang circle). The other half is now know as the Dragon's Fang and has come to symbolize Darkfriends, but it referred to the male Aes Sedai during the Age of Legend.

The amyrlin is thus identified to the sigil of the Tower, meaning that she really is the Tower. You also made good points by suggesting a connection with the idea of light or warmth.

The Amyrlin Seat

You all made the connection to the chair, but no one explained the amyrlin part :look Well, I cannot remember reading an explanation somewhere, but it is likely that this term of amyrlin comes from the Tamyrlin ring worn by Lews Therin. But what was this Tamyrlin Ring and what was it used for, we still don't know. (unless Rand gives an explanation in Towers of Midnight or in The Memory of Light, now that he's been merged with LTT ;) ) There is also probably a parallel with our word: amyrlin / Merlin, suggesting the idea of magic :D

I really loved your descriptions of the seat :bow Indeed, something strong, giving an impression of might, with the Flame symbol but not too ornate, that's what I would have said too. You mentioned it being made of wood, and that fits well with the benches used for the Hall. But then it probably means that this seat has been changed many times, as the first Amyrlin Seat was raised some 3'000 years ago :lol I still wonder why this seat isn't some kind of ter'angreal like the Crystal Throne of the Seanchan Empress, it could have been useful :scratch

Feel free to post questions or commentaries ! The next lesson will be posted in a few days.

Lesson 2 - Amyrlin Seats from the Breaking to the Trolloc Wars

Elisane Tishar

Big White Book p. 216 said:

Elisane Tishar is generally believed to have been the first to hold the title of Amyrlin Seat of the Hall of the White Tower, over a hundred years before the Tower was actually finished. The exact date of her ascension has been lost, but it is known that she reigned as of the year 98AB.

From the BWB (p. 90 ss), we also learn that Elisane was one of the most influencial Aes Sedai well before being raised to Amyrlin Seat. She is mentioned in a letter dating from 47AB as the leader of one of the 12 ajah existing at that time (the 7 ajah existing nowadays were founded later). She was undoubtedly a strong Amyrlin, managing to have all Aes Sedai submitting to her rule (some of those who didn't accept her as the leader of the Aes Sedai were even stilled).


(Source: TGH, ch. 5 & BWB p, 216)

Tetsuan was raised from the Red Ajah sometimes during the Trolloc Wars. She betrayed Manetheren for jealousy of Queen Eldrene's powers. Manetheren was attacked just after the battle of the field of Bekkar (around 1200AB), and King Aemon had sent for help, but no one came and Manetheren was finally destroyed. Because of this betrayal, Tetsuan was the first Amyrlin to be stripped of stole and staff. She was kept in the Tower as a scullery maid who could be pointed to as a caution of what can happen to the mightiest. She died some years later.

Rashima Kerenmosa

(Source: LoC, Glossary)

She was born around 1150AB and became an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah. She was raised to the Amyrlin Seat in 1251 AB. It was the time of the Trolloc Wars, and Rashima was known as the Soldier Amyrlin, for she led the armies of the White Tower to the battle. She restored the morale of the faltering Ten Nations and won many battles, but died during the Battle of Maighande in 1301AB. She and her five warders were found dead, surrounded by dead Trollocs and Myrddraal, and at least nine dead Dreadlords. This battle marked a turn in the Trolloc Wars, finally leading to the victory of the armies of the Light. She is considered by the Green Ajah as a symbol of all it means to be a Green sister.


Elisane was the first Amyrlin Seat. Though nothing is said about it, one could imagine there is a special feast celebrated by Aes Sedai to honor her memory. I'd like you to give a description of what Elisane's Day could be :D

My thoughts on Elisane's Day

I'd say most Aes Sedai would remember Elisane only for founding the White Tower. After 3'000 years, only a few Browns and those who have access to the Thirteenth Depository would know about Elisane's ruthlessness. Elisane's Day could therefore be used to enhance the sense of unity inside the Tower. Now what kind of celebration ? Well, in a way it's like our Anniversary Parties here, commemorating the founding of our community :lol So let's say, an Amyrlin Tournament for the warders, a feast for all the initiates of the Tower, music, dances, a day off for novices and accepted. But no live raisings :p Nandi and Taelinn had good suggestions :D

Lesson 3 - Amyrlins from the Trolloc Wars to Arthur Hawkwing


Little is known about her. Our sole source is A Crown of Swords, ch. 16, where Mat remembers Queen Isebele of Dal Calain summonning Amyrlin Anghara for an audience. Dal Calain was a nation of the Free Era, located in the actual Caralain Grass.

Bonwhin Meraighdin

The Fires of Heaven said:

She (Elaida) raised her eyes to the paintings. One consisted of three wooden panels depicting Bonwhin, the last Red to have been raised to the Amyrlin Seat, a thousand years before, and the reason no Red had worn the stole since. Until Elaida. Bonwhin, tall and proud, ordering Aes Sedai in their manipulations of Artur Hawkwing; Bonwhin, defiant, on the white walls of Tar Valon, under siege by Hawkwing's forces; and Bonwhin, kneeling and humbled, before the Hall of the Tower as they stripped her of stole and staff for nearly destroying the Tower.

Bonwhin was raised from the Red Ajah in FY 939, the same year as Guaire Amalasan declared himself the Dragon Reborn. She was considered an imperious woman, even for an Amyrlin Seat. When Hawkwing captured Amalasan in FY 943 with the help of Aes Sedai, he brought the prisoner to Tar Valon for judgement, but entered Tar Valon's territory with his whole army instead of only a few retainers, and Bonwhin never forgave him. Later, it is rumored that the Aes Sedai governing provinces for Artur Hawkwing took their orders from Bonwhin more than from Hawkwing, and that she might have been attempting to control his decisions. Some sources claim that Arthur Hawkwing began the siege of the White Tower in FY 975 because he learned that Bonwhin had been behind the deaths of his first wife and children. Tar Valon came close to falling, and in FY 992, Bonwhin was deposed by the Hall and stilled. She was then kept as a scullery maid until her death in FY 996.

Deane Aryman

Big White Book said:

Despite Hawkwing's death, Souran Maravaile, a general under Hawkwing, continued the siege of the White Tower, determined to finish what the High King had begun. With a good portion of the dead king's military force at his disposal, it is possible that Souran would have succeeded in bringing down the Tower, but many histories credit Deane Aryman, raised to the Amyrlin Seat when Bonwhin was deposed, with saving the Tower by convincing Souran to raise the siege. It is certain Deane met with him and made serious attempts to undo the damage Bonwhin had done by attempting to control Arthur Hawkwing, but new evidence now proves that it was actually Ishara, his lover and the daughter of Hawkwing's provincial governor of Andor, who convinced Souran to release the Tower. Deane did, however, manage to restore the prestige of the Tower, and was believed to be convincing the warring nobles to accept the leadership of the Tower and thus restore unity to the land when she was killed in a fall from her horse.

Deane was born around FY 920 in Salidar, a village in the kingdom of Shiota. She was raised to Amyrlin from the Blue Ajah in FY 992 following Bonwhin's deposition. She died in FY 1084.

More can be found at this site (but I wonder where they got their informations from :scratch )


Anghara, Bonwhin, Deane. Were they strong or weak Amyrlins ? Why ? Based on their examples, which qualities would be required to make a good Amyrlin ?


I forgot to mention it: could you please mask your answers with the spoiler button ? Thanks !

I'm spoilerizing my own opinions about Anghara, Bonwhin and Deane, as some people haven't answered yet.


We know almost nothing about her, but I'd say she was really weak. Isebele was probably a strong ruler, but nonetheless, no strong Amyrlin would have accepted this kind of summon.


Strong indeed, but too hard, and too greedy for power. She was only thinking of her own glory, and it led her to make huge mistakes.


She did a good job correcting Bonwhin's errors. Was she really strong ? Probably, but she didn't have enough time to show it. The Aes Sedai had to unite behind her to be able to survive Hawkwing's assault, but I wonder if it would have lasted !

Lesson 4: Strong Amyrlins in the New Era

Edarna Noregovna

(see Crossroads of Twilight, ch. 30) She was raised from the Blue Ajah in 64 NE, and held the position until her death in 115 NE. She is remembered as the most politically skilled Amyrlin in White Tower history, but unfortunately we don't know how she acquired this reputation :cry

Gerra Kishar

The Path of Daggers said:

Gerra and Sereille were remembered as among the greatest Amyrlins. Both had raised the influence and prestige of the White Tower to levels seldom equaled since before Artur Hawkwing. Both controlled the Tower itself, too, Gerra by skillfully playing one faction in the Hall against another, Sereille by the sheer force of her will.

Gerra was raised from the Gray Ajah in 601 NE, succeeding Shein Chunla (one of the weakest Amyrlin in Tower history). She died in 638 NE.

Myriam Copan

The Path of Daggers said:

There had been Amyrlins who reigned in strength, Amyrlins who managed an even balance with the Hall, and Amyrlins who had had as little power as she, or less upon rare occasions, well-hidden in the secret histories of the White Tower. Several had frittered away power and influence, falling from strength to weakness, but in over three thousand years, precious few had managed to move in the other direction. Egwene very much wished she knew how Myriam Copan and the rest of that bare handful had managed. If anyone had ever thought to write that down, the pages were long lost.

Myriam was raised from the Green Ajah in 754 NE, and held the position until her death in 797 NE. She started as a rather weak Amyrlin but managed to become really strong, though we don't know how she did.

Sereille Bagand

(my favorite, can you guess why ? :lol )

The Path of Daggers said:

Gerra and Sereille were remembered as among the greatest Amyrlins. Both had raised the influence and prestige of the White Tower to levels seldom equaled since before Artur Hawkwing. Both controlled the Tower itself, too, Gerra by skillfully playing one faction in the Hall against another, Sereille by the sheer force of her will.

A Crown of Swords said:

Sereille Bagand had been a fierce Mistress of Novices before being raised Amyrlin Seat, the very year she herself earned the shawl, and a fiercer Amyrlin than Elaida could be with a sore tooth. Seaine had had the proprieties driven into her too hard and deep for mere years to shift, or any dislike for the woman who wore the stole. One did not have to like an Amyrlin.

Sereille Bagand was an Aes Sedai of the White Ajah. For a time, she was the Mistress of Novices, most likely under the Amyrlin Parenia Demalle, even though Parenia was Gray Ajah. Sereille was Parenia's successor on the Amyrlin Seat in the year 866 NE. She held the position until her death in 890 NE. A century later, her name is used by Aes Sedai to frighten novices.


Write a few paragraphs about your meeting with Queen Isebele (yes, the one who had summoned the Amyrlin Anghara ;) ). Nyavene and Hanajima, you are Gerra Kishar; Miriama and Nandi, you are Myriam Copan; Taelinn and Marivea, you are Sereille Bagand.

Lesson 5: Weak Amyrlin Seats in the New Era

The Thirteenth Depository said:

The Amyrlin can lose authority, especially with the Hall, by going against custom and law (Lord of Chaos, The Amyrlin is Raised) or making unwise decisions. She may find herself forced into taking on a public penance (A Crown of Swords, Prologue and The Gathering Storm, A Visit From Verin Sedai), or unable to get the Hall to accept or act on her decrees, or have her activities restricted (A Crown of Swords, A Pair of Silverpike), or even be deposed or forced to resign. The pressure of the position is considerable:

"Everyone you meet will always be testing you, Mother," Siuan said. "You must be prepared for surprises; at any moment someone could throw one at you just to see how you respond."

- The Gathering Storm, News in Tel’aran’rhiod

the duties and responsibilities extensive enough to be onerous. Consequently:

The Amyrlin needs to learn to ration her strength; some in your place have failed not because they lacked the capacity for greatness, but because they stretched that capacity too thin, sprinting when they should have walked." Egwene refrained from pointing out that Siuan herself had spent much of her tenure as Amyrlin sprinting at a breakneck speed. But it could very well be argued that Siuan had stretched herself too thin, and had fallen as a result.

- The Gathering Storm, News in Tel’aran’rhiod

Shein Chunla

Shein Chunla was raised from the Green in 578 and ruled for 23 years. She squandered her power as the Amyrlin and ended up as a puppet of the Hall. She began as a strong Amyrlin, firmly in charge of the Tower and the Hall, but alienated most of the sisters in the Tower with her autocratic manner until the Hall tired of her.

Shein tried running the Tower with an iron hand, never a compromise on anything, running roughshod over any opposition. The Hall grew tired of it, but they couldn't settle on a replacement, so rather than deposing her, they did worse. They left her in place and forced a penance on her whenever she tried to issue an order of any kind. Any kind at all. …The Hall ran Shein and the Tower. But they mishandled a great deal themselves, largely because each Ajah had its own goals and there was no hand to shape them into a goal for the Tower. Shein's reign was marked by wars all over the map. Eventually, the sisters themselves got tired of the Hall's bungling. In one of the six mutinies in Tower history, Shein and the Hall were pulled down.

- Knife of Dreams, Honey in the Tea

Shein was deposed and exiled for life where fifty-one years later, after four attempted restorations, the sisters guarding her smothered her in her sleep with a pillow (The Path of Daggers, Stronger than Written Law). The official records say that Shein died in the Tower of natural causes.

Cemaile Sorenthaine

Cemaile Sorenthaine was raised from the Gray in 681 and ruled for 24 years. When elected, Cemaile dreamed of raising the prestige of the Tower to that of the days before the Trolloc Wars, when no ruler held a throne without the Tower's approval and commissioned an elaborate clock in anticipation of her success (A Crown of Swords, Prologue), but she achieved only failure and became completely powerless long before the end of her reign (The Path of Daggers, Unexpected Absences), the Ajah Heads eventually ruling in secret instead of either Cemaile or her Hall to prevent “complete disaster”(The Gathering Storm, Sealed To The Flame).

On the ornately gilded clock, small figures of gold and silver and enamel moved with the chimes. Horned and snouted Trollocs fled from a cloaked Aes Sedai on one level; on another a man representing a false Dragon tried to fend off silver lightning bolts that had obviously been hurled by a second sister. And above the clockface, itself above her head, a crowned king and queen knelt before an Amyrlin Seat in her enameled stole, with the Flame of Tar Valon, carved from a large moonstone, atop a golden arch over her head.

She [Elaida] did not laugh often, but she could not help a quietly pleased chuckle at the clock. Cemaile Sorenthaine, raised from the Gray, had commissioned it dreaming of a return to the days before the Trolloc Wars, when no ruler held a throne without the Tower’s approval. Cemaile’s grand plans came to naught, however, as did Cemaile, and for three centuries the clock sat in a dusty storage room, an embarrassment no one dared display. Until Elaida. The Wheel of Time turned. What was once, could be again. Would be again.

- A Crown of Swords, Prologue


  • What does each of the three levels of Cemaile's clock symbolize ?
  • Why did this clock become an embarrassment for the Amyrlins who succeeded Cemaile ?
  • Why was Shein deposed and exiled when Cemaile wasn't ?

Lesson 6 - Recent Amyrlin Seats (Tamra / Sierin / Marith / Siuan)

Tamra Ospenya

She was raised Amyrlin from the Blue Ajah in 973 NE, and supposedly died in her sleep in 979 NE. She is remembered as a fair and just Amyrlin, and was truly of all ajah and none.

Her first Keeper of the Chronicles was Gitara Moroso who foretold the birth of the Dragon Reborn and died immediately after (picture :D )

At this point Tamra began her search for the Baby Dragon by appointing searchers chosen among reliable sisters. Moiraine and Siuan had witnessed Gitara's foretelling but were told not to interfere. Unfortunately, the Black Ajah (Jarna, Chesmal and Galina mostly) heard about this search, tortured Tamra to get the informations, and finally killed her. Tamra managed nonetheless not to reveal Moiraine and Siuan's names, enabling them to start their hunt for the Dragon Reborn.

Sierin Vayu

Sierin (-> picture) chose the gray Ajah when raised to the shawl, when everyone expected her to choose Red. Following Tamra's death, she was elected to Amyrlin Seat in 979 NE, and chose Red sisters for Keeper and Mistress of novices. She was extremely hard and strict as Amyrlin, firing all male clerks and imposing strict disciplinary measures on the Tower.

Sierin died in 984 NE. She was actually murdered by the Red Ajah, at the instigation of Chesmal, a Black sister: Siuan had left an anonymous note to Sierin, telling her the Black Ajah had murdered Tamra's searchers, and Chesmal had announced some of those deaths. The Reds thought Sierin was about to expose their illegal gentling of men (the so-called "vileness"), perhaps even blame them for sisters’ deaths or declare them Darkfriends, and they were trying to save their Ajah.

Marith Jaen

Marith was raised from the Blue Ajah in 984 NE. She dealt partially with the Reds’ "vileness": no culprits were found because the Red Ajah closed ranks, either to save their Ajah from disgrace or because they felt their actions justified or both, so in 985 NE, Marith punished the Red Sitters instead with unchairing, birching and exile to hard labour on an isolated farm, and commanded the subject Sealed to the Flame. Marith died in 988 NE, making hers one of the shortest reigns in the Tower history, but nothing is told about the cause of her death (natural or not ?)

Siuan Sanche

Siuan was born in Tear to a poor fisherman in the year 958 NE. She witnessed Gitara's foretelling with Moiraine when they were still accepted. Both were raised to Aes Sedai in 978 NE and chose the Blue Ajah.

When Marith died, the third Amyrlin in a row to have a short reign, it led the Hall to seek a long period of stability by breaking with the established tradition of twenty to thirty year reigns and look at younger candidates for Amyrlin. Siuan was finally chosen in 988 NE because she very strong in the Power and had a reputation as a very good administrator.

Siuan was a strong Amyrlin, and she did pretty well considering her inexperience – better than any Sitters would have predicted. Egwene thought that Siuan pressed ahead too quickly in her reign, stretching herself too thin, and this caused her fall. By 998 NE a number of Sitters was concerned about what Siuan was up to. Siuan was seen as favouring her former Ajah and Moiraine in particular and there was opposition to her journey to Shienar. Meeting in private with Moiraine and Rand was considered higly suspicious by the Black sisters present there, leading to an attempt on her life.

The Tower coup occurred in 999 NE and was instigated by Elaida, who was encouraged by Alviarin. Driven by personal dislike of Siuan and ambition for herself and her Ajah, Elaida used the pretext that Siuan had hidden knowledge of the Dragon Reborn from the Hall to depose her. Siuan was deposed and stilled, but managed to escape and to join the rebel sisters in Salidar. She later plays an important (but secret) role in teaching Egwene to become a good Amyrlin.


  • Explain how Tamra could manage to keep the secret about Moiraine and Siuan when she was tortured by the Black ajah.
  • Why did Sierin choose Gray over Red ?
  • In your opinion, was Marith assassinated or did she die of natural causes ?
  • Give an example of something important taught by Siuan to Egwene.

My opinion on some of the last questions:


I think she manage not to tell about Moiraine and Siuan because the question she was asked was something like "Who are the Aes Sedai you sent to hunt the Dragon Reborn ?", and therefore she managed to hide the two accepted.


I really don't know. The Reds could have had her assassinated like they did for Sierin, and for the same reasons, but I still wish to believe not all Reds are Black and that Marith died naturally :look Maybe one day Brandon will tell the truth :lol

Lesson 7 - Elaida and Egwene

First I really have to apologize for taking so long in writing this last lesson :$ Thank you all for your patience, I hope I didn't discourage you !

Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan

Elaida do Avriny a'Roihan, daughter of a minor noble from Murandy, was the first novice to be raised to Accepted in only three years. She was raised to the shawl after Siuan' and Moiraine's second year as novices, and chose the Red Ajah. She is one of the strongest Aes Sedai the Tower had in years. As an accepted, she had a foretelling that the Royal line of Andor is the key to winning the Last Battle, and thus manages to become the advisor of Queen Morgase.

When Morgase refuses to have an Aes Sedai advisor anymore, Elaida is chosen to be a Red Sitter. She becomes suspicious of Siuan's and Moiraine's actions concerning the Dragon Reborn, and confides her doubts in Alviarin, a White sister who is also the Head of the Black Ajah. With Alviarin's help, she gathers 11 sitters who also oppose Siuan, and has Siuan deposed and stilled. Immediately after, she is chosen as the new Amyrlin, with Alviarin as her Keeper.

Elaida begins from a position of political weakness; she owed Alviarin the Keeper’s stole for delivering a vote from the White Ajah required for reaching the greater consensus to raise an Amyrlin (Sierin also chose her Keeper in another ajah, but Gray and Red were allied whereas Red and White were ennemies). Having arrogant and imperious manners, and being an inexperienced Sitter, Elaida assumes that the Tower has always bowed to the will of the Hall and Amyrlin. She believes the Amyrlin is an absolute monarch, not first among equals. Therefore many of her decisions (sometimes "corrected" by Alviarin) lead to chaos, division between the ajah, conflict with the Dragon Reborn and loss of prestige of the White Tower.

Elaida's main actions as the Amyrlin Seat:

  • sends an embassy of Aes Sedai to the Dragon Reborn, with secret orders to capture him and bring him back to the White Tower. This leads to the disaster of Dumai Wells;
  • sends a force of Aes Sedai to the Black Tower with orders to gentle and hang every man they find. Another disaster :(
  • commands Seaine to seek out traitors within the Tower. Elaida thinks of Alviarin but Seaine understands she has to hunt the Black Ajah;
  • reduces Egwene to novice after her capture, has her beaten and finally imprisoned;
  • issues edicts and severe penances for those who do not comply (Shemerin and Silviana, for instance), and even considers a 4th oath of obedience to the Amyrlin Seat.

Elaida never listens to Egwene's warnings against a Seanchan attack. When it finally happens, she is captured and made damane under the new name of Suffa. Later she is forced to show the weave for Travelling to Tuon and the Seanchan.

Egwene al'Vere


Egwene was born in Emond's Field, daughter of the mayor Bran al'Vere. She was almost engaged to Rand al'Thor, but when they leave Emond's field she chooses to join the Tower. As an accepted, she is sent by Amyrlin Siuan Sanche to hunt the Black Ajah. Later she studies dreamwalking with the Aiel Wise Ones, posing as an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah.

Egwene is chosen by the rebels for their Amyrlin because they consider her young and unexperimented, and because of her connections with the Dragon Reborn. Strangely, the Tower Law doesn't require the Amyrlin Seat to be an Aes Sedai ! But with Siuan's teaching, Egwene manages to skillfully play one faction in the Hall against another.

Egwene's main actions as the Amyrlin Seat:

With the rebels
  • with the help of Siuan and Leane, proves herself extremely intelligent and deft at manipulating the women who desired to manipulate her (Lelaine and Romanda, but also Sheriam and her posse, and the whole Hall);
  • obtains the Hall's agreement to leave Salidar, move north and declare war on Elaida;
  • opens the novice book to women of any age with the potential to channel, thus gaining about a thousand novices for the rebels;
  • wants to associate all female channellers with the Tower in a two-tiered system of full Aes Sedai who are bound by the Three Oaths (higher) and associates of the Tower who are not (lower);
  • does her best to live by the three oaths despite the fact that she had not yet sworn on the Oath Rod;
  • attacks the White Tower using Travelling and making of Cuendillar, but is betrayed and captured.
Within the White Tower
  • even though she is demoted to novice and drugged with forkroot, gains the respect of prominent Sisters and Sitters when they invite her to debate with them, and makes them realize Elaida is a poor Amyrlin. Also manages to counter the Seanchan attack on the Tower with the help of the novices;
  • after Elaida’s capture by the Seanchan, is chosen as the new Amyrlin by the loyal Hall, and does her best to reunite the Tower by having the rebel sisters apologize and promoting a Red sister, Silviana Brehon, to Keeper;
  • hunts the Black Ajah down using the list given by Verin, and breaks Mesaana’s mind during a battle in Tel’aran’rhiod;
  • doesn’t want to alienate Rand even though her first concern remains the White Tower, but she cannot accept his plan to break the Seals on the Dark One’s prison.


  • Elaida was a bad Amyrlin, and Egwene is one of the greatest. But nonetheless, Elaida had some qualities, and Egwene isn’t perfect. So I’d like you to list at least one quality for Elaida, and one default for Egwene ;)

(please remember to spoilerize your answers !)

No one else ? If not I'm gonna ask the Headmistress to lock this class :look And unless I am mistaken, having finished a class counts as a contribution ;)

Thank you all again for having joined this class :bow It was great to have you for students, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did !

Graduated Students